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Laxman Narasimhan

Mr Laxman Narasimhan is set to join the growing ranks of Indian-descent CEOs heading leading US corporate giants. On September 1, world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks announced Mr Laxman as their upcoming chief executive officer. Joining on October 22, Narasimhan will work with current interim CEO Mr Schultz and will join the board of directors as the CEO from 1 April 2023. He is currently serving as the chief executive of the U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC. He is an Indian-American business executive who has worked in various multinationals before Reckitt Benckiser such as PepsiCo, and McKinsey & Co.


Narasimhan was born on Saturday, 15th April 1967 in Pune, Maharashtra, India. He completed his schooling from St. Vincent Junior College and then from Loyola High School, Pune in 1984. From 1984 to 1988 he completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune. He did masters in German and International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania.


Narsimhan has worked across multiple industries – retail, technology, healthcare, energy, and manufacturing. He’s also led assignments in the public sector for education and skill building. Before joining Reckitt, Laxman held various senior roles at PepsiCo from 2012 to 2019, including, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Executive Officer of Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa operations, where he ran the Company’s food and beverage businesses across the regions and Chief Executive Officer of Latin America. Before PepsiCo, Laxman served as a Director of McKinsey & Company and held various roles from 1993 to 2012. He was also an Advisory Board member of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Centre at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. Narasimhan is also a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, served as a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Build Back Better Council, and is a member of Verizon’s Board of Directors. Currently, he heads the UK-based consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser. The company’s official website declares him to be “an outstanding leader who brings wide experience across the consumer goods sector, both operationally and at scale.” He possesses exceptional strategic capabilities and consumer insights – with a stellar track record of dealing with brands. Additionally, he’s credited with exceptional people engagement and leadership skills. Building on this, Howard Schultz, the current CEO of Starbucks stated, “As I have had the opportunity to get to know him, it has become clear that he shares our passion for investing in humanity and our commitment to our partners, customers, and communities.”


Ms Hobson, a board member of Starbucks added, “We have great expectations from Laxman.”


Did you know: Laxman is a polyglot. He can speak five different languages. He is proficient in English, Hindi, Marathi, German and Spanish.



BY:

Mithil Garg, Rohit Sharma


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